View Full Version : Hello all, and a program i've been devising.

Harry Munro
06-12-2009, 01:52 AM
Hi all, i've been lurking here for a while now and finally decided to sign up, this seems to be one of the best forums out there.

Anyway I play rugby for my university with the season starting up again in October. After experimenting for the last 10 weeks or so I have come up with a simple program which needs refining, hopefully with input from you guys here.

Day1: Strength
Day2: KB
Day3: Hill Sprints
Day4: Strength
Day5: KB
Day6: Hill sprints
Day7: Rest

Pretty simple right but I think that's a good thing.

Strength days revolving around PP/bearpowered deadlifts (deadlift followed by plyos), pullup variations and some sort of squatting movement (more for mobility than anything, OHS?).

KB days basically V02 max type stuff followed by pressing.

Hill sprints are self explanatory but I do them in sets of 5-10 with the distance about 10 seconds and the rest period the walk down to the bottom.

Criticism is what i'm after here please, I've gone from bill starr to westside style programming to this sort of stuff so it's not exactly set in concrete!

Allen Yeh
06-12-2009, 03:39 AM
What is your end goal? That will help us form where we think you should be headed. Is hits just an off-season program form July-October? Or what? What are your strength numbers right now? What is your experience level with the lifts?

Harry Munro
06-12-2009, 04:35 AM
Deep breath...

I have lifter for 2 years now, and have no problems with form on pretty much everything except the snatch, which I just don't do.
Strength numbers right now are 175kg deadlift, I have squatted 125kg for 5 reps a while back but have been putting emphasis on the front squat recently instead as well as working on clean technique (to aid my mobility). I can clean and power clean 80kg and jerk that overhead too. I have been experimenting with many movements and have taken the emphasis away from just strength development.
I'm new to kettlebells and have been doing swings, clean and presses and getups with my 24kg bell.

I weigh just over 80kg and am 5'11 and the positions I play all include a lot of opportunity for try scoring (center, wing, fullback).

Last preseason I followed SS and then Bill Starrs barbell programs which added a good amount of much needed bodyweight and strength but I was way less agile, felt heavy and didn't have enough endurance... and also developed shin splints very quickly.

I don't feel that I need to gain anymore bodyweight. I just want to become an absolute animal before next season!

... and relax.

Scott Hanson
06-12-2009, 05:12 AM
What are the most important athletic skills in rugby? As I recall, strength, power, speed, agility, and endurance come to mind. If you haven't already, have a look at CrossFit Football [URL="http://www.crossfitfootball.com/"] instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. Seems like you need more endurance than a football player though, so I'd add in the occasional longer run (5K/10K).

Allen Yeh
06-12-2009, 05:56 AM
I don't know much about CF Football but I know there is a wealth of info here on this thread from almost 2 years ago.


Another great thread:

It's a lot of information but I won't stop there James Evans did a great article which sums up a lot of the things he says in the threads in his Performance Menu article about S&C for Rugby in PM #23 he has a 12 week preseason template in there already.

Harry Munro
06-12-2009, 12:00 PM
I'm not the worlds biggest fan of the crossfit football stuff.

Ah yes I've seen these threads before, really good info. I think rugby has a very unique metabolic demand, it's not a case of training like you would for football and throwing in a long distance run occasionally. It's more about power endurance, mainly from sprinting and tackling/pushing. I'm a big fan of Ross Enamaits work, that style of endurance conditioning is what i'm after, only with more sprint work. The KB stuff is basically to bridge the gap between the gym and the field. The gym stuff is to predominantly train the CNS with big bang for the buck deadlifts.

I don't think i'm reinventing the wheel here, just applying a good set of training styles which I think gel well together.

Alex Bond
06-12-2009, 12:09 PM
You might be working with the right concepts, but that seems like a pretty busy week. Are you sure you could recover from 6 on-1 off week in and week out? You might find an extra rest day or two will allow you to recover and make more progress.

Gant Grimes
06-12-2009, 02:15 PM
I played inside and outside center. If I had it do over again I would spend
* two days of weights (HPC, PS, FS, BS, BP, PP, weighted pullups), agility, and metcon
* one day with just weights
* another day of interval or sprint work

Arden Cogar Jr.
06-12-2009, 02:15 PM
Unless getting about 10 hours sleep a night, eating hella awesome, and periodizing this routine I can see you lasting a few weeks at best before you start breaking down. Maybe a bit longer depending upon how much you've hammered yourself the past few weeks.

Where's the overhead strength work? I would skip the KB press on your KB days and do some more overheads on your strength days. Your KB work is primarily met-con or active recovery? Or at least it appears that way.

You will need to plan a few periodic rest days and eat like there's no tomorrow to pull this off. But it can be done.

Good luck.

All the best,

Harry Munro
06-12-2009, 02:51 PM
No i'm not entirely sure I could recover, thoughts were that the strength days are high intensity but low volume, and therefore wouldn't cane me too much. Maybe the weekend off is the way to go, I think that's one for testing.

Gant that's actually similar to what's going on in my head at the moment, except with fewer exercises. I've been doing cleans sporadically lately and am starting to question whether they are an exercise worth training or just worth having the movement pattern for and periodically testing maxes with. Same with the squat i'm feeling more inclined to use it as a movement rather than a heavy load.

Arden the KB work is meant to be metcon V02 max stuff, high rep swings for time etc... with pressing following it. I just figured as pressing is probably the least important aspect to train why not do it overhead with the KB which would be good for balanced development in the shoulder.

Should I be doing most of my pressing with barbells then? And do I win the award for the weirdest program?

Dave Van Skike
06-12-2009, 04:40 PM
Criticism is what i'm after here please, I've gone from bill starr to westside style programming to this sort of stuff so it's not exactly set in concrete!

Honestly, I want to say it looks like a schizophrenic mess...it doesn't look simple to me at all.

You're in the offseason correct? what's your biggest weakness at your position? speed, strength, ball handling?

Kettlebells are great but not as your only overhead work. no one has to bench but a barbell or dumbbells are better by far in the amount of load and variety.. if i played rubgy i'd spend a lot of time with odd objects like sandbags, gripwork and running economy alongside hillwork.

i think you'd better off working the hell out of 531 or westside for skinny bastards for 8 weeks and then roll in conditioning work slowly about 3-4 weeks out. I'd rather show up for two a days strong as a bull and deconditioned than vice versa.


didn't mean to come across as harsh. actually, if you made the KB as very light active recovery and made them totally optional, that would be reasonable. frankly, this schedule: 2 days of just weights, 2 days of just sprints and one day where you do both is pretty much exactly what i shoot for, but i drop the sprints as soon as my lifts start flagging.

Tom Rawls
06-12-2009, 07:51 PM
More running.

I can't imagine someone training for football and including only 2 days a week of running. You run around more in rugby than you do in football, don't you?

Justin Fricke
06-12-2009, 09:13 PM
More running.

I can't imagine someone training for football and including only 2 days a week of running. You run around more in rugby than you do in football, don't you?

Kinda what i was thinking. During our summer workouts for football and i know it would work for rugby too, We did a 3 days M-T.-TR lifting with an emphasis in the Olympic movements, with speed/tech work done 2 times a week and speed endurance 2 times a week. split the session do running in the morning and lift in the afternoon. wed-fri were body weight/optional rest days. with but running was always m-t speed/ endurance and then tr-f speed endurance lift m-t-tr worked well.

Harry Munro
06-13-2009, 02:14 AM
The ME/DE method worked well in the past for me. Thing is getting my strength numbers up is great and all but I already have a solid enough foundation of strength. What I found was the strength built in the gym, and I'm one of the strongest people on the team by barbell standards (yes we have a weak team!), is not very useful on the field unless it can be expressed properly. The strongman type stuff has always attracted me as kind of a bridge builder - and the sandbag too. I'll be making a sandbag soon. But the hill sprints and kettlebells are, for me, the best way at the moment to bridge this gap. The strength work in the gym is more maintainance if anything, possibly bringing up the deadlift a little and working on the chins.
I'll throw presses into the strength days and scrap the kettlebell press work.

More running.

I can't imagine someone training for football and including only 2 days a week of running. You run around more in rugby than you do in football, don't you?

Well it works, the important thing is maintaining the movement pattern. I only run/sprint on hills because of my bad shins. The intramuscular coordination of a running movement only has to be practiced once a week to be maintained if the skill is already learned. The sprinting/jogging serves that twice a week. The additional conditioning is also there in the KB form, which has been brutalizing me lately.

I'm trying to achieve a balance here. I feel strength in the gym needs to be expressed through the hands and feet properly and that it mustn't weigh you down after only half-time. Things like weak hip flexors in comparison to the hip extensors don't help when running around for 80mins. I'm trying to "take the brakes off this summer". Can't remember where that idea came from, probs dan john.

You're in the offseason correct? what's your biggest weakness at your position? speed, strength, ball handling?

Probably confidence haha! But i'm feeling quite well rounded as it is, although endurance would probably be my weakest point, I can't express my strength effeciently enough yet, it's getting there though! Oh also I quite like the old school, simple training methods.

By the way thanks for all the replies you guys must hate me already, but i've noted everything down. :o